Recap: Zani’s home-pregnancy kit confirms that she’s pregnant, and wild joy ensues. Then she and Jake are overcome by the magnitude of it all. Zani’s doctor is fully booked and the blood test has to wait, but at work she secretly googles Now that you’re pregnant.
The list seems straightforward enough, but I decide then and there to stop off at the bookshop after work to find a book on all of the above – you know, like a kind of a companion to travel the pregnancy road with me, a book I can touch, scribble in and make notes.
In the meantime I have taken another look at my notes on a healthy lifestyle and realised that very few changes are needed – the last three months on the preconceptual care programme have already paid off and we won’t need to alter much.
I have noted, though, that during pregnancy it may be best to avoid cheeses such as Brie, Camembert and blue cheese, pâté, and even bagged salads; large predatory fish like tuna, swordfish or shark; farmed salmon and intensively grown food and veg; green potatoes and alcohol; peanuts, liver and caffeine. With this list, it is clear there’ll be no more picnics for a while!
Moreover, according to Childbirth International black tea reduces the amount of iron the body can absorb by 79 – 94%, peppermint tea blocks 84% and chamomile blocks 47%. It can be helpful, therefore, to drink tea or coffee between meals if iron stores are a concern, or to add lemon (vitamin C) to tea.
My environmental checklist indicates that I also need to steer clear of DIY tasks such as stripping off paint or laying new carpets. I also need to avoid strong cleaning agents, keep the car windows closed when in heavy traffic, limit my exposure to microwaves or computers, make sure Jake empties Alfie’s kitty litter, avoid smoke, and drink filtered water.
But even with all the warnings, precautions and sensible words of advice, I still cannot contain my excitement. I want to scream it from the rooftops and I cannot wait to visit Vee to share my – no, our good news!
As can be expected, Jake and I have a wonderful weekend. Whether we are alone at home or visiting friends, we steal a knowing glance at each other every now and then, delighting in our little secret.
On Sunday morning we stroll hand-in-hand through the bookshops and invest in a few pregnancy and child-development book-friends to accompany us on our journey. We even sneak a peek at books on baby names, but decide that can wait.
However, after breakfast – espresso for Jake and still water for me (caffeine is a no-no during pregnancy) – we can’t resist popping into a baby shop where we fail dismally in our determination to be perfectly sensible and leave empty-handed. One pair of teeny-weenie frilly socks, just in case it’s a little girl, and a pair of socks that look like rugby boots, just in case it’s a little man. We are entitled to one little indulgence, aren’t we?
Now it’s Monday afternoon. After work we are meeting at Dr Cohen’s rooms, ready for the blood test and armed with our list of ‘Questions to ask the doctor’. We enter her practice with excitement and anticipation, but when the needle comes out, our excitement abandons us.
While I recover from the needle (I’m a wuss, it really wasn’t that bad), Jake asks her about the best caregiver during pregnancy. I’ve forgotten my notebook and with my concentration levels at an all-time low, I leave it to Jake to ask the questions. I just sit on the chair like an imbecile, relying on Jake to repeat the doctor’s answers once we get home.I have to say, she is very obliging. She is paying careful attention and rattles off all sorts of facts and figures that, within seconds, slip my mind.